Mark Graban's leanblog.org - Lean Healthcare, Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, Lean Thinking, Lean Manufacturing, Toyota Production System

Driven a Ford Lately? I Won’t Be

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Maybe it was karma or fate after I've been giving Ford execs a hard time, but I rented a LOUSY Ford Mustang over the weekend. I know rentals get beat up and aren't representative of what you would buy, but they are still sometimes the only impression a potential customer might get.

My rental, with about 10k miles, was very very creaky (in the door and the dash). The driver's seat had a spring in the back that kept popping somehow, making for an uncomfortable drive.

After two days, I took it back and exchanged it for a Toyota Camry.

The Mustang looks nice, but I wasn't impressed. I guess we can blame that car on the unfairly high healthcare expenses and Japanese currency valuations, right?

Maybe rather than blaming Ford, we need to look at the relationship between Ford and National Car Rental, or maybe just at National. At what point does National take that car out of service? How does Ford monitor the fleet to ensure the experience for potential Ford customers? Do they monitor the fleet?

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

3 Comments
  1. Kevin says

    The rental car companies might be getting the message as well. The last two times I’ve rented with Hertz I’ve had a Subaru and a Volvo. Not as many plain jane Chevy’s on the lot anymore.

  2. Anonymous says

    The Mustang interior was a diversion from the normal product development cycle at Ford.

    Typically the ‘interior integrator’ was responsible for the entire interior quality. If there was a problem the integrator was responsible for finding the root cause and working with their suppliers to fix it. Of course there was a price for the integrator.

    Ford decided that they would save costs and eliminate the integrator. Now if an issue arises chaos ensues and component suppliers scramble to fix the issue or attempt to blame the other adjoining component. Meanwhile Ford PD threatens contracts.

    The Ford supplier relationship couldn’t be worse right now.

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